Seven Days (DI Jack MacIntosh #2) by Michelle Kidd #SevenDays #DIJackMacIntosh @AuthorKidd @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #PublicationDay #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers to be opening the Blog Tour for Seven Days by Michelle Kidd. This is the 2nd book in the DI Jack MacIntosh series and is a cracking read. The first book was The Phoenix Project and you can read my full review HERE.

My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book. I would like to wish Michelle a very happy Publication Day 🤗

One killer. One city. One week.

July 2012 and a serial killer is terrorising the streets of London. With the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games in just seven days time, Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh and his team at the Metropolitan Police have one week to find him. With the killer’s motives unknown, and a mysterious clue being left at each scene, the case takes on a menacing and personal twist. Distracted by his own demons, will DI Jack MacIntosh solve the case before it is too late?

The clock is ticking.
Tick.
Tock.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK or US

My Review…

This is the second book in the DI Jack MacIntosh series and it is another excellent crime thriller read. A serial killer is leaving bodies of women around London, nothing seems to connect them, there are no real similarities apart from some marks left on their bodies, and a random item left near the body.

The story is set just before the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, time is not on Jack and the team’s side as those higher up want the case wrapped up before the prestigious event. The added pressure of a time constraint, as well as a case with very little clues, is bad enough, but add in a new team member who is vague, distant and at times elusive really doesn’t help.

If you have read the previous book then you will have some idea about Jack, Stu and Isabel. These three are returning characters whose stories are woven into each other. The author has continued their individual stories, well more Jack’s, into this second book. These three characters are interesting and are being developed further. If you haven’t read the first book then you will miss some detail, but the author does a good job of providing a recap. In my opinion, though they are better read in order.

The author weaves a story that has the in=vestigating team scratching their heads, they clutch at straws at times as they try to progress with their hunt for the killer. The killer also relates his actions in this novel and this adds a wonderful sense of intrigue. It also allows for some wonderful red herrings to be dropped along the way. There is a psychological aspect to the story, and again it adds another element.

I really like the characters in this series, and there are the obvious new introductions. The continuation of existing characters backstories is good and I like getting to know them more. Another good aspect was the time limits that had been placed on the case, giving the team a sense of urgency and this is added to further in the story.

This is a fabulous crime thriller read that had me hooked very quickly. Even though this is still a new series I was delighted to find how quickly a couple of the main characters came back to me. This is one for crime fans, who like their police procedurals and it is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Michelle Kidd is a self-published author known for the Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh series of novels.

Michelle qualified as a lawyer in the early 1990s and spent the best part of ten years practising civil and criminal litigation.

But the dream to write books was never far from her mind and in 2008 she began writing the manuscript that would become the first DI Jack MacIntosh novel – The Phoenix Project. The book took eighteen months to write, but spent the next eight years gathering dust underneath the bed.

In 2018 Michelle self-published The Phoenix Project and had not looked back since. There are currently three DI Jack MacIntosh novels, with a fourth in progress.

Michelle works full time for the NHS and lives in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. She enjoys reading, wine and cats – not necessarily in that order J

Bibliography:

The Phoenix Project (DI Jack MacIntosh book 1)

Seven Days (DI Jack MacIntosh book 2)

The Fifteen (DI Jack MacIntosh book 3)

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The Kindness of Psychopaths by Alan Gorevan #TheKindnessofPsychopaths @AlanGorevan @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Bloggers to be opening the Blog Tour today for The Kindness of Psychopaths by Alan Gorevan. This is such a brilliant book and I wish to say a huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles for my spot on the blog tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Here is more about it…

How far would you go for those you love?

When Valentina López Vázquez vanishes from her home one morning, it’s obvious that she was taken by force. What happened to her next is not so obvious.

The disappearance forces two men on a gruelling search for the truth: Barry Wall, Valentina’s frantic husband, and Joe Byrne, the nihilistic detective in charge of the investigation.

They are locked on a devastating course that will take them to places darker than they ever dreamt – places without limits…

Don’t miss this page-turning thriller. Perfect for fans of Shari Lapena, Peter Swanson, Jennifer Hillier, and Linwood Barclay.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK or US

My Review…

Wow, this is an absolute belter of a book and one that once I had started I just could not put down. The title does hint at this having a psychological element, the synopsis hints at crime. What you get is an awesome read that has so many twists and turns making this such an addictive read.

Joe Byrne is a detective, as got to get to know him over the course of the story it is a wonder how this man manages to keep going. He isn’t going to win Mr Popularity, and this makes him a bit of a loner as he bounces from situation to situation. Each more extreme than the last that eventually leads the reader to the finale.

What starts off as a missing person soon morphs into something else. Joe has a little bit of an issue when it comes to where his moral compass points, don’t get me wrong I can see the reasons behind his decisions, but, still! I do like this character a lot, he is a maverick.

This is such a cleverly written thriller, it moves from event to event drawing the reader in further and further. Never sure who to believe, what their individual motives are. The story moves along over alternating timelines, the first part of the book jumps in time and is a great way of introducing the characters.

I am being so vague about this review, in fact, it is such a good book I just want to tell you all about the excellent plot, the brilliant storyline, the fabulous characters and that ending! Talk about a fitting title to a story or what!

This is a story that is quite complex but flows so well, the author has done such a great job of twisting in various elements and in such a way that as I was reading I could easily follow. There are so many little details dropped in along the way that gradually make sense by the time you get to the end of the book.

This is a brilliant read and one for readers who love a crime, mystery thriller read with a psychological thread. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Alan Gorevan is an award-winning thriller writer and intellectual property attorney. He lives in Dublin.

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Danger Close by Cameron Curtis #DangerClose #CameronCurtis @inkubatorbooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crimefiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Danger Close by Cameron Curtis. This was such a fab read and I wish to say a huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and for arranign my e-copy of the book.

He wanted peace. But war would always find him.

Ex-Delta Force sniper Breed has spent most of his life at war and now he’s trying to make some time for peace. But when a veteran from his old unit is beheaded in El Paso, Breed feels duty bound to bring the killer to justice. A feeling that only grows stronger when his friend’s widow and son are also murdered.

As he uses all his specialist skills to uncover the truth, Breed finds himself working with some unlikely allies – a devious CIA operative, and a determined Latina reporter who is investigating the trafficking of underage girls. Together, they uncover a conspiracy to launch a massive attack on US soil.

The terrorists are confident – they have powerful friends in the Mexican cartels and US law enforcement. But they have reckoned without one thing—Breed.

Danger Close – the first in the stunning Breed action thriller series. Perfect for fans of Lee Child, Jason Kasper, David Archer.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

If you like a good action-adventure book with various threads then Danger Close is one that should be on your radar. Ex-military sniper Breed wants to know more when an old colleague of his is found beheaded on his ranch. Local law enforcement is ok but doesn’t have the knowledge that Breed does when it comes to looking at the terrain, looking for signs and clues and also there is, of course, the fact that Breed spent years working alongside him. What the police think are leads make no sense to Breed.

This book in some ways has a slight Jack Reacher style to it, in as much as an ex-military is out looking for justice so if you like those types of books then I think this one will be a good one to keep an eye out for.

I liked how the author wove Breed into the investigation along with a couple of other characters. There is some suspicion as to what really happened and why not only the man but also his family were killed. Being close to the Mexican border there is the obvious drugs, crime, cartel angle but Breed gradually finds out more when he teams up with a journalist and also an Agent to get to the bottom of the mystery.

I did find that the flow of the story kept me eagerly turning the pages and this added to the suspense and intrigue that was gradually built up. Adding in backstories, people trafficking, corruption, drugs, terrorism and also a race against time increases the tension. I really liked the characters, Breed is the main protagonist and I am glad to notice that this book is the first in a series. I am looking forward to getting to know him more, maybe he has a first name!

There are plenty of surprises, a good amount of twists that kept me guessing and I really enjoyed reading this. I liked how the characters were gradually introduced over several chapters as there is a good amount of names. I also noticed that the author does include quite a few specs as far as weaponry was concerned, not overly so but enough to make them stand out a little.

This was a really good intro into a new series, and I think it is one that would appeal to crime, thriller, mystery readers as well those that like specifically trained ex-military turning their skill set towards discovering the truth. It is a book that sort of dips into a couple of different genres and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Cameron Curtis has spent thirty years on trade floors as a trader and risk manager. He was on the trade floor when Saddam’s tanks rolled into Kuwait, when the air wars opened over Baghdad and Belgrade, and when the financial crisis swallowed the world. Having written fiction as a child, he is the author of the Breed Series of action thriller novels published by Inkubator Books. The first, DANGER CLOSE is scheduled for launch in February 2021. The second, OPEN SEASON, will be released in May.

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An Eye for an Eye (Detective Kate Young #1) by Carol Wyer #AnEyeForAnEye #DetectiveKateYoung @carolewyer @AmazonPub @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for An Eye for an Eye by Carol Wyer, this is the first book in the Detective Kate Young series, so what better place to start if you have not read anything by this author before.

My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles Blog Tours for my slot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

A killer running rings around the police. A detective spiralling out of control.


DI Kate Young is on leave. She’s the force’s best detective, but her bosses know she’s under pressure, on medication and overcoming trauma. So after her bad judgement call leads to a narrowly averted public disaster, they’re sure all she needs is a rest.
But when Staffordshire Police summon her back to work on a murder case, it’s a harder, more suspicious Kate Young who returns. With a new ruthlessness, she sets about tracking down a clinical, calculating serial killer who is torturing victims and leaving clues to taunt the police. Spurred on by her reporter husband, Young begins to suspect that the murderer might be closer than she ever imagined.
As she works to uncover the truth, Young unravels a network of secrets and lies, with even those closest to her having something to hide. But with her own competence—and her grip on reality—called into question, can she unmask the killer before they strike again?

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

A new series sees the introduction of Detective Kate Young. From the outset this is a detective that has troubles, she is broken and is given the chance to get back on track again as she leads an investigation to the death of a local businessman.

Kate’s story runs alongside the investigation in rather a distinct way. This is ideal for the reader as both unfold together. The plot is not straight-forward and Kate and the other officers seem to find more dead ends rather than answers. It also doesn’t help when the people they talk to all seem to have something to hide, they do of course have a good reason!

As I mentioned there are two stories within this story, that of Kate and that of the investigation. At first, it seemed a little strange, but gradually I began to put things together and suddenly for one of the threads the penny dropped. It was one of those eureka moments, of course, it was the author that led me to this but I still had to read to discover the full truth.

The other storyline took a route that really does have far-reaching implications. Keeping the pressure on, keeping the team on their toes and adding additional stress to an already stressed Kate. I know this is quite a vague review but I am not going to give any spoilers.

Kate is a character who is hanging on by a thread, quite literally she is walking a tight-rope between holding everything together and completely breaking down. It is her tenacious attitude and to a certain extent her stubborn pride that keeps her from falling. She has a reputation for being the best at what she does and even in her fragile state the author really does give Kate everything to deal with. But, I have to say that the strength of the character really made this work for me.

This is definitely a complex storyline but it flowed wonderfully so I never felt lost. There are a good amount of twists, red-herrings and no matter how I thought it was going to pan out I was nowhere near to working things out. There are surprises that kept me eagerly turning the pages. This is a great first book in a series that I really enjoyed, a mix of crime, thriller and mystery with a darker and disturbing side as well as a human interest story. A fabulous read and one I would recommend and I can’t wait to see what the author has in store next.

About the Author…

USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer writes feel-good comedies and gripping crime fiction.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in LITTLE GIRL LOST and demonstrated that stand-up comedian Carol had found her true niche.

To date, her crime novels have sold over 750,000 copies and been translated for various overseas markets.

Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy.

When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

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The Conspiracy (DC Jake Tanner Crime Thriller #1) by Jack Probyn #TheConspiracy #DCJakeTanner @jackprobynbooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to be joining the Blog Tour and sharing my review today for The Conspiracy by Jack Probyn. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my copy of this very fast-paced crime novel.

Here’s more about it…

Candice Strachan can’t breathe. 

A small jewellers is raided in Guildford High Street and leaves police chasing their tails. Reports suggest that it’s The Crimsons, an organised crime group the police have been hunting for years. 

The device wrapped around her neck is suffocating her, crushing her chest.

But for rookie detective, Jake Tanner, something doesn’t seem right. The heist doesn’t fit any of their previous patterns. And the last time Jake met them, he was staring down the barrel of their gun, bargaining for his life. 

The men who put it there have left her to die.

When the shop owner is kidnapped and a collar bomb is attached to her neck, Jake learns one of his own is involved – a police officer. 

Her life now rests in Jake Tanner’s hands. 

As Jake follows the group on a wild goose chase, he questions everything he knows about his team. Who can he trust? And is he prepared to find out?

The Conspiracy by Jack Probyn is a tense crime thriller full of hooks and twists that will leave you guessing to the end. If you like Luther and Line Of Duty, you’ll love this series that combines tension, gripping plots, and police corruption.

(Warning: This book is intended for mature audiences and contains disturbing and potentially offensive material.)

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

The author certainly doesn’t hang around in The Conspiracy. This is #1 in the CID Case series and it definitely has a fast pace to it.

Jake Tanner has just started with the Guilford Police as a Temporary Detective Constable, he’s a rookie and appears to be very eager to impress. At least that is how some see him, he definitely gets a break in an armed robbery when he recognises the gang responsible. I have to say that initially, I thought Jake came over a little bit cocky and over-eager so I didn’t really warm to him that much. Luckily for me, this did change as I realised he is actually like a dog with a bone who cannot and will not let things drop. He knows that he is right for somethings and this does mean he goes out on a limb on more than one occasion.

A robbery, a kidnap, guns and a shot fired is not the usual modus operandi of this gang. This leaves Jake with a slight uphill battle as he tries to convince his superiors that he does know what he is on about. They need to take him at his word and not see him as just a rookie.

The story goes along at breakneck speed and this does really work well for the story as it is very much a race against time for a couple of reasons. There are quite a few characters but I didn’t think there were too many so that I struggled to keep up. They have been worked well into the plot of the story and do bring there own style and traits. I do admit there were a couple of favourites as well as the odd one I really wasn’t so keen on.

Overall this is a really good start to a new series, with a further 5 more books planned and due out. It is a police-procedural that is fast, well-plotted and has a very good addictive aspect to it. It does have a feeling of things falling in to place a little too conveniently at times. A one-sitting read for me that has left me eager to read more. There is a smallish cliff hanger that I am keen to see developed further and I am curious as to what the author has in store for Jake. It is one I would recommend.

About the Author…

Jack Probyn is the author of the DC Jake Tanner series. He hasn’t spent much time on the planet, but he knows what he wants: to entertain and enthral readers across the globe with his stories. Growing up as an only child and never owning a pet – something he reminds his parents of constantly – Jack spent a lot of time reading and writing. 


After just about completing an English degree, he decided to turn his passion from a hobby into a career. When he’s not writing, he’s usually enjoying sudoku or a true-crime drama on Netflix. He lives in Surrey with his partner – who also one daydreams of owning a pet. Preferably a dog.

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Forgotten Lives (A DCI Stirling Investigation #2) by Ray Britain #Forgotten_Lives @ray_britain @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Forgotten Lives by Ray Britain. This is a fantastic crime, police procedural book that I thoroughly enjoyed. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and also for my e-copy of the book.

Here’s more about it…

A man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn.


But what linked the victims in life, and now in death?


When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years apart, but all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear. The killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them?


Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast!


Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems? Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!


As Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home – he is being targeted.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

This is the 2nd book in this series, but the first one I have read so I can say it works very well as a stand-alone. I didn’t feel I was missing out on too much, but I do wish I had read the first beforehand.

So, DI Doug Stirling. Seems like a pretty decent guy, a workaholic who seems to spend more time awake and working than he should. But the demands of the job are as such that it cannot be helped. His home life is hit and miss with a relationship in the balance.

A body is reported, then another and another. There is no apparent link, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. What Stirling and the team don’t realise is that when this link is discovered things really get serious. Crimes from the past are starting to emerge leaving the reader wondering how far and for how long this enigmatic killer has been on the loose.

This book is a fair lump a book and I did a double-take when I realised how long it would take me to read. It turned out that this book needed to belong to get the questions answered from a series of long-running events, things needing to link up and to be done in such a way as to not falling place too conveniently.

There was something about the way this book has been written that struck me as slightly different from other crime books. This one seemed to have more of a technical, interagency, knows how things work set of feel. When I mention it has a technical feel, don’t think computer tech, but instead think of a more procedural line. There are several aspects that made me think that the author is someone that knows his stuff. Indeed, when I checked out his bio I could see straight away I was right. This definitely shows in the writing, the plot, the story and also how the interaction between hierarchy and other agencies have been worked.

The author has definitely taken a hard subject for a reader to read about, but I do think he has done it in a way that does not edge to the graphic, more insinuating events. I much prefer this approach when reading, in this case, less is more. It was the reactions, comments, and emotions of officers that gave the gravity of the crimes.

This is one of those books that has a lot going on in it if you tried to explain it, but makes perfect sense while reading. It is laid out in a way that makes it compulsive reading, it nagged at me when I put it down! It does have more of a slower pace as there is a lot of detail, but this really works well in this case, although the pacing did pick up.

The way this is laid out is in days, with subchapter of hourly breakdowns. Giving the reader a time frame adds to the tension, the working pattern, the out of hours calls and the long working days. Again this and also mentions of budgets, cuts, not enough resources, all adding to the fact that the author has an experience. In fact, some of his bio does have similarities to that of his main character.

This really is a book that shows the pressures of the job, the stress on home life, the working pressures under tense and media-frenzied scrutiny. A brilliant read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Ray Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career.

As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role –  responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.

Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses  and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives.

Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate.

When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit..

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The Lies of Our Fathers (The Barnabas Trilogy #2) by Jonathon Mark #TheLiesOfOurFathers @jonmark1956 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #actionthriller #bookreview

It is an absolute honour to be sharing my review and to be opening the Blog Tour today for The Lies of Our Fathers by Jonathan Mark. This is the second in the trilogy and the first time I have read a book by this Author and I thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced, action-packed read. While it does work well as a stand-alone I do wish I had read the first book! Typical of me 🙂

My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book. Let me show you more about it…

Synopsis…

Antioch 1098. A Crusader knight saves the lives of a Muslim family.

A city under siege by the army of the First Crusade. Sickened by the slaughter of Muslims, an English knight rescues a family and helps them escape. In the midst of battle he discovers a holy secret. When the tide is turned and the Crusaders find themselves besieged within the walls of Antioch, the same Muslim family must risk their lives to save the English knight.

Ankara 2000. An ancient bible is discovered.

An original version of the Gospel of Barnabas, supporting the Islamic view of Jesus and suppressed by the Christian church for centuries, is discovered by Turkish police in an anti- smuggling operation.

Iran 2005. A son hunts his terrorist father.

Richard Helford, MI6 agent, is searching for his father, a wanted terrorist. A search for the truth will take him from the Greek islands to the deserts of Iran, via Turkish occupied Cyprus. Embroiled in the bloody rivalries of Iranian politics, could his father be guilty of a murder that hurts Richard to the core of who he is? Richard must find the secret of the Crusader knight and the proof that the Gospel of Barnabas is not a forgery. Or will the assassination squads from the CIA and Mossad get there first?

What are The Lies of Our Fathers?

The second novel in the Barnabas trilogy.

Purchase from Amazon US or UK ( the UK link is an affiliate link)

My Review…

First off I am going to mention the cover for this book, it was very eye-catching when I first saw it. Now I have read the book I realise how perfectly it fits! That is not all that fits, the title is spot on as well!

This is the second book in The Barnabas Trilogy, typically of me I didn’t read the first book so I can say this does work well as a stand-alone. But, yes I do wish I had read the first book as this second one is a cracking read. It is set over two time periods, the first takes the reader back to the crusades in Antioch 1098. Not much time is spent here as the main story is set in Iran in 2005.

What starts as a hunt for his father and the truth about an ancient scroll takes a definite turn into something much more unexpected for Richard Helford. He is an MI6 agent but is working off-grid as such and does not have the backing of the agency as he looks for his father David. The story leaps various countries as the cat and mouse chase begins and Richard tries to put together the pieces of an ancient puzzle.

It has been a while since I have read a book that involves lost artefacts and I have to say this one ticked all the boxes for me. Ancient artefacts usually have a religious base, this is certainly the case for this story as the hunt for a lost and ancient gospel hits fever pitch. Different religions factions are eager to get their hands on it. There are some who want it to use as leverage, others to prove a point and those that will not want it to see the light of day.

The author packs the religion, the politics into a story that is such a brilliant read and has a wonderful fluidity to it. There are several plots the at have been woven in together and yet I felt that I never felt lost. I admit it did take me a while to get my head around the characters, but then as I got used to them everything was good.

Because the author has injected religion and politics into the story, as well as government agencies then you just know that there is going to be a lot of conspiracy, mistrust and double-dealing. This sort of thing is right up my street and the author had me convinced… convinced that I couldn’t trust any of the characters that is! This again is something that worked really well for me, being off footed and not quite knowing who was working for who, who was telling the truth keeps the story flow moving along at a breakneck pace.

Sometimes you come across a story that you know would work really well as a film. As I was reading this book this is what kept springing to mind. I would love to see this as a film! There is also an interesting Afterward where the author explains briefly some aspects of religion and history with a list of books for further reading.

So, this is a cracking book. Fast-paced, action-packed, adrenaline-fueled, full of conspiracy and intrigue. I wanted to savour this book rather than read it at my usual speed, and yet I also never wanted to put it down! Fabulous read and one for action, thriller, conspiracy readers. It one I would absolutely recommend.

About the Author…

Jonathan Mark worked for nearly forty years in the City of London financial district, he retired early to pursue his long held ambition to write novels.  He shares his time between Essex and Cornwall and travels around the world to research material for his books.

To kick start his writing career he completed an MA in Crime and Thriller writing at City University London. At the time, this course was the only creative writing MA in the country which focused on commercial crime fiction. The Last Messenger was the novel submitted to complete the MA.

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In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton #InTheSweepOfTheBay @CathBarton1 @LouiseWalters12 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton. This is a lovely and delightful novella that I adored. My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you more…

Synopsis…

This warm-hearted tale explores marriage, love, and longing, set against the majestic backdrop of Morecambe Bay, the Lakeland Fells, and the faded splendour of the Midland Hotel.

Ted Marshall meets Rene in the dance halls of Morecambe and they marry during the frail optimism of the 1950s. They adopt the roles expected of man and wife at the time: he the breadwinner at the family ceramics firm, and she the loyal housewife. But as the years go by, they find themselves wishing for more…

After Ted survives a heart attack, both see it as a new beginning… but can a faded love like theirs ever be rekindled?

“A tender and moving study of a marriage” Alison Moore, author of the Booker short listed
The Lighthouse

Purchase Links:

Louise Walters Books: https://www.louisewaltersbooks.co.uk/shop-1

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3ez3EwP

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3k7aVF6

Foyles: https://bit.ly/2U0o3Bs

Book Depository: https://bit.ly/3ka6d9Hhttps://bit.ly/3ka6d9H

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2U5Nm5c

My Review…

This is a wonderfully written story about Ted and Rene and their life in Morecombe. They are the main characters but others do come and pause a while. In some respects this is a story about falling in love, getting married and falling into the routines of life, but it feels like much more than that.

This is such a lovely story and I found myself really caring about the characters, this feels odd as the book is only 100’ish pages long. This gives an indication as to the wonderful ability of the author to draw the reader into a story quickly.

The story itself spans decades and has been cleverly laid out, given the overall length I didn’t feel like things had been skipped over but I still felt the heartbreak and heartwarming feeling that I would expect in a longer novel.

In the Sweep of the Bay has a quietness to it and it also feels very realistic. Normal people living normal everyday lives, basically very similar to this reader and many others, not too much drama or dramatics. Just getting on with life just as other people do. I think this is why I think this story works so well.

This is a story that is a lovely little read and that has been so well written. One for lovers of contemporary and literary fiction and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Cath Barton lives in Abergavenny. She won the New Welsh Writing AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella in 2017 for The Plankton Collector, which was published in September 2018 by New Welsh Review under their Rarebyte imprint. She also writes short stories and flash fiction and, with her critical writing, is a regular contributor to Wales Arts Review. In the Sweep of the Bay is her second novella. 

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Dead Already by Tim Adler #DeadAlready @timadlerauthor @NightsBooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crime #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Dead Already by Tim Adler. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I am looking ofrward to reading more. Huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and for my e-copy of this crime thriller.

Let me show you more…

Synopsis…

What if someone you accidentally killed came back to haunt you?

When the perfect crime results in the kidnap and murder of Megan, his only child, East End villain Mickey Speight is grief stricken. But now, nearly thirty years later, Megan sends a message to her father, gone-to-ground in present-day Margate.

As the messages from his dead daughter keep coming, Mickey teams up with a young American female therapist to discover whether this really is a voice from beyond the grave, or if somebody has loomed out of Mickey s past wanting revenge. Someone is fingering Mickey’s collar and Mickey doesn’t like it.

Mickey realises that he must haunt the old East End boozers, betting shops and strip clubs of his youth if he’s to find out what really happened to his daughter.

DEAD ALREADY is a psychological thriller that splices the ever-popular East End gangster genre with a ghost story; a cross between revenge thriller YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE and supernatural horror DON T LOOK NOW.

Purchase from –

Amazon UKAmazon USWaterstonesFoyles

My Review…

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and my first outing was a really intriguing read and one that caught me unawares initially. I had read the synopsis for this book a long time ago when I decided to sign up for the Blog Tour because I really liked the idea of this story. Then I sat down to read and found myself somewhat confused as I struggled to get to grips with the story. I then re-read the synopsis and suddenly things that I had read started to make a lot more sense!

Where do East End London gangsters go when they want to start over, well Margate of course. Mickey Speight is such a villain, he has had a hard life, he hasn’t many friends and 30 years ago he watched his daughter die. Why is he now getting messages from her?

I liked this story a lot, especially after I read the synopsis! It is a timeslip novel that flits back and forth and really easy to follow as well. The past is in italics and fills in the history for the present-day story. The past is something that haunts Mickey but tells of what he has done.

I liked the way the author tackled the layout for the story because the information the reader needs for the past is gradually drip-fed throughout. It makes it easy to digest and it has been worked really. well.

The messages from the grave give an eerie feel to the book, but not scary though, in some ways it has a more sinister feeling and adds a psychological feel to the thriller aspect of the story. It has good pacing as I followed Mickey and the author deeper into the mystery.

This was a story that nagged at me when I wasn’t reading it, it is unfortunate that readers also have lives to get on with and are not always able to sit and read a book in one go all the time. I think it would have easily been a one or two sitting read. It is a book for those who like a bit of old school gangster mixed in with a modern crime mystery feel. A good thriller with a psychological dimension that made for very interesting reading and one that I would be happy to recommend.

About the Author…

Tim Adler is a journalist and former commissioning editor on the Daily Telegraph, who has also written for the Financial Times and The Times.

His debut self-published thriller Slow Bleed went to number one in the US Amazon Kindle psychological thriller chart. Its follow-up Surrogate stayed in the top 40 psychological thrillers for more than a year. Bestselling crime author Peter James said of Tim’s third novel Hold Still, “Adler’s engaging style and sharp pace kept me glued”.

The Sunday Times called Tim’s most recent nonfiction book The House of Redgrave “compulsively readable” while The Mail On Sunday called it “dazzling”. Tim’s previous book Hollywood and the Mob was Book of the Week in The Mail On Sunday and Critic’s Choice in the Daily Mail.

Tim is a former London Editor of Deadline Hollywood, the US entertainment news website.

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The Heat by Sean O’Leary #TheHeat #SeanOLeary @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Heat by Sean O’Leary. This is a quick-ish read and a first for me by this author. My thanks to Emma for arranging my copy and for my spot on the Blog Tour. Let me show you what this book is all about…

Synopsis…

Jake is a loner who works nights in a Darwin motel and lives at the YMCA. He’s in love with Angel, a Thai prostitute who works out of the low-rent Shark Motel.

A vicious murder turns Jake’s life into a nightmare. He must fight for his life on the heat-soaked streets of Darwin and Bangkok in the wet season to get revenge, and to get his life back

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link) also –

Amazon AUS US Australian Bookseller

My Review…

This is a reasonably quick read and the story took me to Australia, not the gorgeous scenic side either. The main protagonist is a young man, a drug user, I suppose what you would consider to be a drop out.

The author has created a story that has a slow feeling pace but is also quite compelling reading. Taking the reader into the murkier world of drug use, prostitution and corruption. However, this young man does have more to him that first glance suggests.

The further into the story I got the more intriguing I found it. It has a moralistic sense to it as the main character tries to do what is best after the death of one of his friends.

The feeling I got from this was that it wasn’t a story about doing what was right, although that is part of the story. It is also about self discovery and also laying some demons to rest.

I did like this slower paced story, it is told from the perspective of the main character and this gives a more personal feel to this story. It is gritty given some of the subject matter involved but also it has a heartwarming sense of justice to it.

A story for contemporary fiction readers and I do think it also crosses into literary fiction. This is a human interest story that I found to be very addictive, I don’t think this will be for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would be more than happy to recommend it.

About the Author…

Sean O’Leary has published two short story collections, ‘My Town’ and ‘Walking’.  His novella ‘Drifting’ was the winner of the ‘Great Novella Search 2016’ and published in September 2017. He has published over thirty individual short stories and is a regular contributor of short fiction to Quadrant, FourW, Sudo, Close to the Bone (UK) and other literary and crime magazines. His crime novella ‘The Heat’, set in Darwin and Bangkok, was published in August 2019. Drifting and The Heat are both available on Amazon. His interviews with crime writers appear online in Crime Time magazine.

He has worked in a variety of jobs including motel receptionist, rubbish removalist/tree lopper, farm hand, short-order cook and night manager in various hotels in Sydney’s notorious, Kings Cross. He has lived in: Melbourne; Naracoorte; Sydney; Adelaide; Perth; Fremantle; Norseman; Geraldton; Carnarvon; Broome; Yulara; Alice Springs; Kakadu; Darwin and on Elcho Island-Galiwinku. He now lives in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, thinks that test cricket is the greatest game of all and supports Melbourne Football Club (a life sentence). He writes every day, likes travelling and tries to walk everywhere.

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